It's Time. (Blogcademy Scholarship Submission)

Serendipity and me.
Last week I was scrolling through the Discover tab on Instagram when Gala’s photo caught my eye. The caption referenced #theblogcademy and the hair on the top of my head stuck up. “Blogcademy? What’s that?”

There was a little flutter in my gut as I clicked the Blogcademy link to find out more.

“THIS. I need this! “ every pore in me seemed to scream in chorus. And when I saw the offer for a scholarship to the workshop I felt it was a sign, and I knew I had to do whatever I could to attend the event. The Universe was clearly throwing me a solid here, and I’ve grown tired of my foul hits and strikeouts. This time I’m hitting it out of the park.

Original image ©Sam Hood, animator unknown

My challenge if I choose to accept it.
I am a single mom who works full time and rarely asks for help (a trait that I'm learning more and more is not as admirable as I once thought and so I’m working on that). I don’t know if I’ll be able to attend this Blogcademy session without the scholarship, but I need to exhaust all options before conceding to defeat, right? No matter how terrifying the options are, like trying to win a scholarship in a competition among other deserving, motivated, talented women.

I’ve stopped and started this post at least 10 times. But I vowed this year to stop wasting my time and to use my voice. But first I need to find my voice. I know that there is a compelling story inside me, and I know part of my journey here on earth is to share it. Coupled with the complexities and nuances of digital media it’s clear I need some guidance to get me started on the right path.

And that’s where Blogcademy comes in. I want to learn from the very best and that's you, ladies!

Image ©Erin Kohlenberg, CC

The Neverending Story – Liz Edition.
I have loved writing for as long as I can remember. I have been chronicling my life since I was 12 years old and I have scores of embarrassing, angst-ridden,unicorn-covered journals as testament. When I got pregnant in 2006, I started blogging to keep long-distance relatives in the loop. I loved it and felt at home in a way I hadn't before. But I kept it private, afraid to share it with anyone outside my immediate circle.

In the years since my separation and subsequent divorce, I have blogged in this space in bursts. Gung-ho enthusiasm soon falls prey to anxiety and self-doubt. Fear holds me back from blogging regularly and I feel like I need to have a plan in place—a brand, a voice—in order to proceed properly. On occasion, I let myself dream about what it would be like to write professionally or hell, blog regularly to a loyal readership. But it has all seemed too scary. Who am I to dream a dream so wild?

And so, I have sat back, admiring and envying other writers who embrace themselves—faults and all— and make a name and space for themselves in the blogosphere. It was only recently that I realized that your voice, your brand, your blog, your life is a work in progress. It’s always evolving because we’re always evolving. I’m always evolving. (Note to self: remember that the next time you are "should"-ing all over yourself.)

Harborne Happy Brick_stephen_boisvert.jpg
               Image ©stephen boisvert, CC

Wise women, the brick, and asking.
A wise woman (Oprah*) once said, “The Universe speaks to us, always, first in whispers.  And if you don't pay attention to the whisper, it gets louder and louder and louder. I say it's like getting thumped upside the head. If you don't pay attention to that, it's like getting a brick upside your head. “

When I saw Gala’s post, it felt like the thump upside the head. Learning about the scholarship was my brick.  But it wasn’t the last brick, because it seemed in the days that followed every sign pointed to Blogcademy.

In addition to the endless Instagram posts and songs on the radio that seemed to be egging me on, I (thanks to the rabbit hole of the internet) came across Heather Jabornik and her post, “3 Ways to Treat Your Dream Like the Wild Adventure It Is.This post seemed to speak directly to me. And when I discovered that she was a Blogcademy alum I said, “ Ok, Universe! I. GET. IT.”

I knew if I didn’t apply, I would regret it. Big time.


I’m always telling my eight-year-old son that he needs to speak up for what he wants, and if he doesn’t ask for what he wants the answer will ALWAYS be no. But if he simply asks, there is a chance of getting a YES.

It’s a funny thing, parenting. So often the lessons we teach our children are the very ones we need to learn. And so I am practicing what I teach and asking for what I want.

My name is Liz Heron and I want to come to LA Blogcademy next month.  I want to win this scholarship to help make that happen.

Here's to seeing you lovely ladies next month!

* You should note that when I say “a wise woman” 8 out of 10 times I am referring to Oprah. The other times it’s a mix of Beyonce, Linda Belcher, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

Weekly Wishes #2

Alriiight! Week two of Weekly Wishes - we're on a roll people! I love the above quote because it reminds me that no one gets anywhere in a single bound. It's the little steps that can lead to the biggest change. So let's start stepping!

Here's how I did on my wishes for last week:
  1. Pick (& start) January's book. DONE! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I picked "Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson" as my first 2015 read. I'm a political nerd and have had this book for a couple of years but never got around to reading it. After seeing SELMA last weekend, I really wanted to know more about the civil rights movement and LBJ. It is a VERY big book (1040 pages!) so the book I pick for February may be a short story or a children's book.
  2. Meditate three times.  Fail. I meditated once and even though it felt great (it ALWAYS does), I didn't make time for it this week. But this is an ongoing goal and so there's always this week.
  3. Stretch.  The week started out strong on this goal but I slacked off towards the end of this week. And boy, am I feeling it. After my Beyonce dance class on Saturday (more on that later this week), I should have stretched a lot more. I woke up in a sore knot on Sunday. So this one is ongoing as well.
My wishes for this week were:
  1. File Taxes. I'e gotten all the paperwork together. Now all I have to do is file. Yeah, that's easy, right? Man, I miss the days of the 1040EZ, but I am hoping the headache will be worth it as long as I don't owe anything. And my fingers are crossed for a refund. 
  2. Finalize European Vacation.  I'm heading to Europe this spring and this is the week to finalize all the details. I've got most of the important stuff out of the way - flights, car rental (yes, there will be driving happening. Whether I attempt to drive on the opposite side of the road remains to be seen.). I've got most of the hotels booked and right now it's just a matter of finalizing the itinerary of sights to see. I'm traveling with someone who is FAR more laid back than I, so I am trying not to get all "Type A Monica Geller", but I know who I am. And I am "Type A Monica Geller" so details need to be locked down this week before panic attacks begin..
  3. Submit Blogcademy Scholarship Post.  Ah...speaking of panic attacks! I have decided to throw my hat in the ring for the scholarship to The Blogcademy's LA workshop next month. The deadline is Wednesday, so my next post with be my submission post. I am scared as hell, but I am also crazy excited about the idea of getting to study with Gala Darling, Shauna Haider and Kat Williams. And that excitement is outweighing all the nervous sweats. And I've got A LOT of nervous sweat happening over this.
So that's what my week is focused on. What about you? What are the things you are conquering this week?

If you are interested in joining the Weekly Wishes party, here's where you can link up:

The Nectar Collective

Weekly Wishes #1

For the last couple of weeks, I've been using my Sunday nights to prep for the week ahead and it's made such a difference in how my mornings go. I am no longer rushing around trying to make lunches or find clothes and I just feel so much more calm and focused the rest of the day.

Since it's been working so well at theme, I thought I would start doing the same here. I have been a fan of The Nectar Collective's Weekly Wishes - it's a personal goal setting community where you can share your upcoming dreams for the week and hold yourself accountable - and this week I've started joining in the fun.

My wishes for this week are:
  1. Pick (& start) January's book. One of my 2015 goals is to read 12 books this year. Time to pick the first one! Any suggestions?
  2. Meditate three times.  Although my larger goal is to meditate daily, I'm easing into this one.
  3. Stretch. In dance class this week, I looked around and was the only person who couldn't touch my toes in a straddle. So this week, I'm aiming to stretch nightly. Wait, if I take deep breaths during my stretching, does that count as meditating? Hmmm.....
If you are interested in joining the Weekly Wishes party, here's where you can link up:

The Nectar Collective

New Years Resolutions 2015 (The Beyonce Edition)

There's something so clean about the beginning of a new year. I love it! I feel like I can do anything. This year in particular feels different. Do you feel it? It seems palpable to me. There's a change in the air and there's nothing we can't do. We are a force to be reckoned with. It's like we're all Beyonce.

I jokingly referred to Beyonce as my spirit animal a lot last year, but it's only recently that I have started to think about what that means. I admire Beyonce because she is so much herself. She has lots of influences but she is so uniquely herself. I've spent a lot of my life worrying about what other people thought about me or trying to be a version of myself that I thought I should be. And I'm tired of that. It hasn't served me and it's time for a change. So this year, I'm taking a page from Beyonce's playbook and vowing to channel my inner Beyonce in all things and be and do me, just as I am.

So in honor of Queen B, I present my resolutions for 2015...

Find the perfect red lipstick. Let's start small. After all, not all resolutions have to be deep. This one is ridiculously shallow on the surface but it's about feeling good and finding what works for you and owning that shit. I've always wanted to rock red lipstick but I've never found the right shade. I always feel like I look more Joker than Gwen Stefani. When it's done right, it looks glamorous and confident and I want to wear red lipstick, dammit! And this is the year! Be prepared, this probably means a post with lots of pictures of me wearing lots of red lipstick.

Meditate. I dabbled in meditation last year and every time I did it (every. single. time.) I felt so good, even hours later. This year, I want to make it a daily practice. I may not be able to sit quietly for 20 minutes and I may not do it wearing a crown, but then again, I very well may.

Budget.  As Bey said "Divas getting money"and it's time for this diva to get serious about making my money work for meI have a couple of debts I'd like to pay off and a savings account that I'd like to grow. I won't get there without budgeting and this is the year. I know I won't be perfect every month and I know it will take me a few months to get the hang of it. But I'm determined to break the cycle. I have been meeting with a money mentor and am using YNAB to budget and track spending.

Use my voice. While I cannot sing like Beyonce (outside my car and shower anyway), I have a voice and it's time I use it. Whether that's writing here or in my journal, or starting my own podcast, or expressing my opinion more at work, or being honest about my feelings in relationships, this year is all about speaking up and out. But I have stories to tell and things to say and it's time. This scares the hell out of me, by the way. Which means I'm on the right track.

Make my house a home. I can only imagine how amazing Beyonce and Jay-Z's house is since they clearly had a Warhol in the foyer at some point. I've been in this house for over 3 years and the only painting project I have tackled is taping paint swatches around the house. It's time to make this home rise up to greet me, as Oprah says. That means tackling the list of house projects I've been  Tackle house projects. One a month is the goal. It doesn't have to be as large as painting a room, but I have to complete a house-related project each month.

Read twelve books. I love reading but I seem to do most of it on my phone. I miss the weight and smell of a book. I feel like I consume bits of information or stories, but it's been a while since I focused on a full book. My plan is to read a book a month.

Guard my time. I have the same amount of hours in a day that Beyonce has and it's time to stop wasting them. Last year, I wasted a lot of my time on people and things that didn't serve me and didn't deserve space in my life. So this year, I am making time for the right people and cutting back on things like mindless television watching. Let's be clear, binge-watching House of Cards is OBVIOUSLY not mindless, but channel-surfing and background noise are. I've already started setting up regular dates with the people that fill my cup & doing my best to ignore calls and texts from those that suck from my cup. know what I mean.

Dance. I have never viewed myself as rhythmic or coordinated but I love dancing and I don't do nearly enough of it. So this year, I'm vowing to dance more. I recently started taking pole dance classes and I recently signed up for a "Dance Like Beyonce" class (yup, that's a thing!) and we'll be learning to dance this entire routine for "End Of Time". Wish me luck.

Travel. OK, so I can't jet off to the Amalfi Coast (yet) but I am going to travel more in 2015. I already have a few trips planned with the possibility of more on the horizon. That reminds me, I need to renew my passport.

So, here is to an amazing 2015!

Instagram, How Do I Love Thee?

Love is too weak a word for what I feel - I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F's.
-Alvy Singer, Annie Hall

The above quote perfectly captures my feelings about Instagram. It is my favorite social media network, without a doubt. Facebook is more about information, Twitter makes me feel like I am not clever enough and don't get me started on SnapChat. I'm still trying to figure that one out.

Instagram is perfect. I can scroll through pictures that make me laugh, and inspire me. I can post ordinary moments from my life, ones that I may have let pass without a second thought. I love looking back at my feed and reminiscing about the past year. There are so many ordinary moments that I am so glad I captured.

I could probably go back and pick my favorite picture from every year since I started using Instagram, but that would be a time-suck that I may not emerge from. So let's just do 2014.

This is my favorite picture of this year. It's recent but it is such a beautiful memory, one that I hope B remembers when he gets older. To celebrate the Dodgers making the playoffs, I surprised B with tickets to the first game, where Clayton Kershaw (his idol) would be pitching. He was so excited and the game was so exciting; not even the Dodgers loss could dampen our spirits.

Surprised Ben with tickets to the #Dodgers playoff game!! #itfdb #goblue @dodgers

Dream Job: Then & Now

When I was little, I wanted to be Olivia Newton John when I grew up. I thought her whole life was singing and dancing with John Travolta with breaks for exercise and to go to the beach to roll around in the surf.

Sign me up!

However, I can’t sing and I can’t dance in an organized way. And well, I can't live someone else's life. So there goes that.

Once I realized that Olivia Newton-John was the only one who could be Olivia Newton-John, I started looking for role models and the one I landed on epitomized everything I wanted to be when I grew up. She was smart, fashionable, had a great career and an active social life. She juggled her life flawlessly and looked great doing it.

My role model? Day-to-Night Barbie.

She was a busy executive who looked great in a pencil skirt and blazer (I never cared for that hat, though.). Once her day was over, the pencil skirt reversed to reveal a chiffon skirt, perfect for a cocktail party or a night on the town with Ken. I was a HUGE Barbie collector as a child and this one was my favorite.

Nowadays, I love my job. Heck, just yesterday I said I wouldn’tquit my job if I won the lottery. And I’ve realized that my life is pretty close to the one I dreamed about as a child. Sure, I thought I'd be married (again), but I am surrounded by people I love and that love me, I have a career that I love with an active social life. And I can rock a pencil skirt like no one’s business. I’m still not going in for that hat though.

If I Won the Lottery....

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Oddly enough I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. I had to buy a new car recently and I LOATHE buying cars. I hate the pressure, I hate feeling like I’m being swindled, but mostly I hate the credit check. Ever since my business folded and I had to declare bankruptcy, I’ve hated having my credit pulled. I hate the shame I feel. I’m trying to get over that, but it’s slow going.  So when Calgon takes me away, it takes me away to a land where I’m debt-free and don’t have to worry about money ever again.

If I won the lottery, I’d win the PowerBall (because if you’re going to daydream, go big). The first thing I would do is call up a friend who is a business manager to set up the necessary accounts. Then I would pay off every debt I have, from student loans to that new car to my latest parking ticket. I would revel in the feeling of not owing a single cent to anyone. Then I would spread that feeling.

After setting up my son for the future, I would pay off my parents’ debts for them. Same goes for my baby sister. I would want them to know the freedom of being debt-free.

Other than that, my life wouldn’t change much. I wouldn’t buy a new car because I just did that and I kinda love my new car. I would probably buy a house eventually, but again I am content with my little Hollywood bungalow. I wouldn’t quit my job because I love what I do. I might dress a little nicer for work after a shopping spree or two but that’s about it.

After paying everything off, my big splurges would be Dodger season tickets and a new bathrobe. A big, fluffy one like you get at a nice spa or hotel.  Just thinking about it makes me sigh and relax a little.

What can I say? I’m just a simple girl with a dream.